Updated: Jan 26
After thoughtful and prayerful consideration with my wife and family, I'm thrilled to announce I'm running for State House District 52, a newly drawn district created in the 2022 reapportionment. It is an honor to represent you on Kershaw County Council and we are looking to take that conservative leadership and representation further, to the State House. To be clear, there is no incumbent in this newly drawn district, as no one has ever been elected to it. The new district is completely within Kershaw County's lines, covering Elgin, Lugoff, and Camden. The responsibility to represent and fight for our county is oneI will never take lightly.
Over the last four years I led or partnered with my fellow council members to achieve several Kershaw County milestones improving quality of life, saving money, and improving public safety as follows:
We took solid waste in-house and cut costs by $1 million per year; cut costs on our chemical lab project from $1.436 million to $616,000; implemented a vehicle fleet maintenance and repair program, which cut costs and saves at least $300,000 per year.
Added ball fields, lighting, a playground, and a walking track at the West Wateree Sports Complex.
Cut the overall tax rate by half a mil last year.
Secured a $275,000 grant for the first Kershaw County park in the Elgin area.
Obtained over $400,000.00 of private donations in land, equipment, fencing, irrigation, and technology for public dog park in Lugoff.
Obtained the Wateree River Veterans Park using tourism restricted funds, providing a site that features the Yak the River event, several outdoor movie nights, the Touch-A-Truck event, and the Christmas Tinsel Trail, among many others.
Took over EMS and built three new EMS stations in the county.
We fought crime by increasing the Sheriff's budget by a greater percentage than any other department in the county to improve equipment, vehicles, and personnel.
Transitioned from a professional volunteer fire service to a full-time professional fire service providing 24/7 coverage at the lowest cost per capita for any full-time fire service in the county.
Co-located Central Carolina Technical College's campus, the Woolard Technology Center, the Kershaw County Economic Development office, and the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce, all at one site in Camden near I-20.
Enjoyed new economic development announcements and expansions.
Established free tuition for Kershaw County high school graduates attending Central Carolina with satisfactory grade point average in high school.
Upgraded our public works facilities and equipment to improve county maintained roads.
We were able to achieve these results in Kershaw County, among many others, through collaboration and working with capable staff at the county level. It takes teamwork to find success. Together we will bring more prosperity to Kershaw County and keep making it a great place to live, work, and worship. Finally, thank you to the hundreds of local folks who reached out and encouraged me to run. Stay tuned for more details on our campaign and ways to get involved at my website, BenConnell.com. And don't forget to vote in the Republican primary on June 14th! Thank you!